Science Literacy

Tips for Reading Nonfiction

Need help reading Science text and articles? Use these core strategies to tackle even the most complex informational texts, focusing on Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. Tips for Reading Nonfiction


Vocabulary Strategies in Science

One of the reasons students find it difficult to understand science is due to how difficult it is to write, spell and read science terminology. Scientific vocabulary is a hodgepodge of little words that are linked together to have different meanings. If you learn the meanings of the little words, you’ll find scientific vocabulary much easier to understand. Here are a few resources to get you started. St. Vrain Vocabulary Strategies in Science


SVVSD Digital Library

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Offers eBooks, AudioBooks and Streaming Media, including over 52,000 copies for middle and high school students. Many titles have both an eBook and AudioBook version, and many titles have multiple copies. Reaching all readers and interests, there are also over 900 titles available elementary students including embedded audio with more books to be added. You can enjoy this library anytime and anywhere on a computer, iPad, smartphone, or eReader.

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FREE Annotated Research Papers 

Science in the Classroom (SitC) is a collection of freely available annotated research papers from that aim to help educators, and high school students understand the research contained in scientific primary literature by using annotations and providing accompanying teaching materials. Annotations include vocabulary, methods, descriptions of prior research, and explanations of major conclusions. Each paper has an educator’s guide outlining connections to science competencies within STEM learning frameworks and standards. Educator guides also provide suggested activities, discussion questions, and resources for further exploration of the subject.


FREE Literacy Resources

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FYI – is your source for nonfiction tied to topics featured in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Collections program. Check back each month for the latest links to information about issues and topics that matter. This is a free resource that allows you to search by topic or grade level (6-12 grades).


CommonLit – delivers high-quality, free instructional materials to support literacy development for students in grades 5-12. Resources are: Flexible; Research-Based; Aligned to the Common Core State Standards; Created by teachers, for teachers. We believe in the transformative power of a great text, and a great question. That’s why we are committed to keeping CommonLit completely free, forever.



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Actively Learn is a new online platform where you can select passages, insert questions, and share them with your students. it even lets you insert multimedia files so your students can compare and contrast science research articles or whatever else you’re reading.



Newsela – Read closely. Think critically. Be worldly. Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that’s always relevant: daily news. It’s easy and amazing. Every Article At 5 Levels making it easy for an entire class to read the same content, but at a level that’s just right for each student.


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DOGO Media –  is a next-generation online network empowering kids to engage with digital media in a fun, safe and social environment. “DOGO” means young or small in Swahili. While our young fans may be small, they act BIG as they engage with our websites and express their opinions on the content that interests and inspires them.




FOSS Literacy Resources by grade

Elementary Science Writing Task: Created to support reading and writing in the science units aligned with common core standards. 3rd Grade   4th Grade   5th Grade



SVVSD Media Services Science Databases

World-Book-KidsWorld Book Kids Science is a general reference Web site developed especially for young students. The site features easy-to-read articles, thousands of illustrations, videos, comparison tools, and a wealth of engaging games and activities.


Kids InfoBits a content-rich, easy-to-use resource featuring age-appropriate content covering a broad range of educational topics. Featuring content from trusted sources, as well as engaging games and activities.


World Book Spanish Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos is the optimal beginner’s Spanish language reference tool. The site offers World Book’s excellent editorial content, rich media, and engaging features in Spanish.


World Book Timelines offers hundreds of pre-generated timelines which cover various time periods in science history. Students can browse existing timelines in science and technology and visualize the cause / effect relationship between events. World Book Timelines also allows users to create their own timeline from scratch, adding events, descriptions, and media.

gicGlobal Issues in Context offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global Science issues, topics, and current events.  Each topic includes an overview, references and rich multimedia – including videos, and interactive graphs.

Science and Technology – Explores issues and topics related to scientific research and technological advances, discussing their impacts in social, political, and economic terms.

Environment and Climate Change – Explores the ways that developing nations and increasing industrialization affect our natural habitats and everyday lives.

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context provides information and opinions on today’s hottest science issues. Issues include updated viewpoint articles, academic journals, statistics, images, videos and links to vetted websites.

Energy & Environmentalism – Explores current event topics such as the BP oil spill, deforestation, foreign oil dependance and also takes a close look at sustainability topics such as biofuels and recycling.

Science, Technology & Ethics – Explores sometimes controversial topics such as evolution, animal rights, genetically modified foods, stem cell research and offshore drilling, amongst other topics.

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